Beauty, Lien Yeung, Makeup

The world’s your stage: Clinique As You Like It

Clinique‘s taken a new direction in how they’re approaching customer service at The Bay in downtown Vancouver. They’ve set the stage to offer service as YOU’D like to have it. The concept’s launched in style cities around the world and yes we made the cut. Vancouver’s the 2nd city in Canada to get it after Montreal (before Toronto, woot).

Earlier this week, we checked out the new space and saw the TLC that’s gone in. Wanna consult, browse, or just grab ‘n go? Go ahead, you’re welcome. Clinique recognizes that its customers are savvy, diverse, and want service tailored to them. As beauty devotees and marketers, we certainly appreciate how it reflects the modern consumer.

Clinique’s national director of education, Sara Whittaker, flew in from Ottawa and we couldn’t let an expert like that walk by without asking a question. What are the top 3 makeup must-haves by Clinique this holiday season?

Back to the new counter concept….

Things a beauty junkie would appreciate:

1. Play space – beauty bars with samples of all their colour products. Complete with clean brushes AND mascara wands from the actual mascaras.  Because wands make a huge difference (remember this?).

2. LED lighting – one of the few counters/spaces where you don’t need to go outside to see if that foundation’s left you looking like the phantom of the opera.

3. Best seller station – I’m a big believer that consumers choose with their dollars. If a product is a global top seller, it’s probably a safe bet that it delivers. Their current #1? The Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector ($63 – $93). I use the daytime lotion and love it. Will now layer with the serum!

4. Life sized Chubby Stick display – it’s cute. That’s all.

Things the marketer in me appreciates:

1. Bilingualism – I ain’t talkin the language of love baby…. The Chinese market in Vancouver is significant and Clinique has taken note.  Not only is signage/POP translated, they even have an “Asia best sellers” display.

2. Museum-like display – inspired by the American Museum of Natural History, all colour products are displayed with descriptions along a wall like artifacts, making it clear & concise. No more squished words on dirty tester units. (See video for example)

3. Next-gen hardware – retailers seem to be slow with adopting iPad usage at consumer level but Clinique’s a first with an iPad delivered program that “prescribes” your skincare routine  following a 90 sec quiz. I tried it and nothing beats having a real life consult but if you’re really socially averse, it’s a good option. I would do a combo of human & machine. Just watching the moving graphic was enough to keep me entertained.

There were plenty of great ideas at the new counter. My one hesitation was with the bracelet idea – wear one to indicate the type of service you’d like. If I were an “express service” girl, I probably wouldn’t take the time to put one on.

Overall, the experience was fun, easy, and welcoming. Experience the new Clinique counter exclusive to The Bay in downtown Vancouver yourself!

I’m with the lovely ladies of Clinique Canada  (L-R: Victoria – a biochemist! – who oversees education in B.C.; Kelly Amsterdam, PR Director; Lien Yeung, Soulcialite; Sara Whittaker, national director of education)


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